COVID-19: NO RESEARCH, NO CURE



According to Robinson Tombari Sibe

“In 2014, in the middle of the Ebola outbreak in Nigeria, I did an article titled: Ebola and the need to promote a culture of research and development. The article which was published by Guardian Newspaper, Punch Newspaper, etc, and even plagiarized by a Newspaper in Sierra Leone, was to draw attention to the need to promote research and home-grown solutions.”
“Six years later, and we are in the middle of a pandemic, with no lessons learnt. NCDC, the Federal and State Ministries of Health, health institutions, and research institutions were caught naked and unprepared. Once Ebola was defeated, we went back to sleep, and continued with our wet dreams.” 

“Research is critical to effective public health management. Epidemiology is a research role, as there's always an emerging development that demands new knowledge. In 2009, I made a Presentation at the Infectious Disease Research Network (IDRN) in London. The event was a gathering of researchers; both epidemiologists and multidisciplinary collaborators like me. I listened to very rich presentations, and key research breakthroughs. [The attached pictures were taken at the event in 2019].”

“It's difficult to see such events in Nigeria. What we set aside for research annually, can't even fund one week of research. The result is that we are unable to come up with home-grown solutions. I was pleased to read about Senagal's $1 COVID-19 test kit. That's a bold attempt at developing homegrown solutions. I was also pleased to read of Madagascar's potential COVID-19 cure. These are commendable products of research.”

“Unfortunately, such efforts would be jettisoned in Nigeria. How then can we innovate and create solutions for local problems, when we do not fund research. Hopefully, we will overcome COVID-19, and we'll decommission the makeshift tents used as isolation wards, and return to our default sleeping position. Another pandemic will happen again in future, and we'll be waiting for others to sell vaccines and drugs to us. No research, no cure.”


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